Writer’s Wisdom 28

Being True to Your Writing Style

Your writing style reflects who you are.  It is a picture of _____ (your name here), the writer.  When you write with heart, with passion, your true style resurfaces.  You can try to force someone else’s style in your writing, but ultimately, you will end up writing without heart.

A good example of an author who writes with passion is Kate DiCamillo.  Although her books are for children (I happen to love some), the way she writes, appeals to adults too.  Her books are magical.  In an interview with Borders, she said that her book just shows up, and she knows she has to write it.  If you read one of Kate DiCamillo’s stories, you will soon capture her style in the book.  It is like she is there, with you, but she really isn’t.

Even that the story is told through the characters, an author’s style permeates the book, maybe because it is the deepest truth that lies within the pages.  So, when you write with heart and passion, inevitably, your truth saturates the essence of the story, you become true to your style.

Writer’s Wisdom 13

“Research the subject.”

Research is a necessary evil when you are writing your piece.  The amount and intensity of the research will depend on the kind of writing you are about to do.  A historical novel will take a decent amount of research as opposed to an article on the ozone layer.  The depth of the research is different in these cases.  Most best selling authors do research before writing.  I say most, because some, like Kate DiCamillo has said that she does not (as told in a Border’s interview).  For her, the writing process happens different.  Her book “just shows up”– to quote her.  When she knows she has to write the story, she writes it.  Jody Picoult researches the subject sometimes even months before she starts writing.  Other authors travel to places or other countries to do their research before starting a book.  Others, like Janet Evanovich, interviews people in ocuppations that relate to her book.  Every research style is different, they do what better works for them and the story.

If you don’t like to do research, I have bad news for you, it is a necessary tool. If you are creating a fantasy piece – here you are creating all your worlds and characters from your mind, and inspiration –  maybe you will get away with it and disregard research.  But for most other genres, research in one degree or another is necessary.  If you are completely allergic to it, then hire someone to do the research for you.  That’s one way to go around it.

For many, the passion for writing is enough to enjoy the research aspect of it, for others, a research assistant is as good as a Muse.